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producer to supply many others with M. Say furnishes a still stronger one commodity, and to be supplied by example of the effects of division others with most of the things which of labour—from a not very important he consumes; reasons not less real, branch of industry certainly, the manuthough less imperative, invite to á facture of playing cards. "It is said further extension of the same principle. by those engaged in the business, that It is found that the productive power each card, that is, a piece of pasteof labour is increased by carrying the board of the size of the hand, before separation further and further; by being ready for sale, does not undergo breaking down more and more every fewer than seventy operations, every process of industry into parts, so that one of which might be the occupation each labourer shall confine himself to of a distinct class of workmen. And an ever smaller number of simple ope- if there are not seventy classes of workrations. And thus, in time, arise those people in each card manufactory, it is remarkable cases of what is called the because the division of labour is not division of labour, with which all carried so far as it might be; because readers on subjects of this nature are the same workman is charged with familiar. Adam Smith's illustration two, three, or four distinct operations. from pin-making, though 80 well The influence of this distribution of known, is so much to the point, that I employments is immense. I have seen will venture once more to transcribe it. a card manufactory where thirty work“The business of making a pin is men produced daily fifteen thousand divided into about eighteen distinct five hundred cards, being above five operations. One man draws out the hundred cards for each labourer; and wire, another straights it, a third cuts it may be presumed that if each of it, a fourth points it, a fifth grinds it at these workmen were obliged to perform the top for receiving the head; to all the operations himself, even suppo. make the head requires two or three sing him a practised hand, he would distinct operations; to put it on, is a l not perhaps complete two cards in a peculiar business; to whiten the pins day and the thirty workmen, instead is another; it is even a trade by itself of "fifteen thousand five hundred cards, to put them into the paper. .... would make only sixty."* I have seen a small manufactory where In watchmaking, as Mr. Babbage ten men only were employed, and observes, “it was stated in evidence where some of them, consequently, per- before a Committee of the House of formed two or three distinct operations. Commons, that there are a hundred But though they were very poor, and and two distinct branches of this art, therefore but indifferently accommo- to each of which a boy may be put apdated with the necessary machinery, prentice; and that he only learns his they could, when they exerted them- master's department, and is unable, selves, make among them about twelve after his apprenticeship has expired, pounds of pins in a day. There are in without subsequent instruction, to a pound upwards of four thousand pins work at any other branch. The watchof a middling size. Those ten persons, finisher, whose business it is to put therefore, could make among them up together the scattered parts, is the only . wards of forty-eight thousand pins in a one, out of the one hundred and two day. Each person, therefore, making persons, who can work in any other dea tenth part of forty-eight thousand partment than his own.”+ pins, might be considered as making | * SAY, Cours d'Economie Politique Prafour thousand eight hundred pins in a tique, vol. i. p. 340. day. But if they had all wrought
It is a remarkable proof of the economy of
labour occasioned by this minute division of separately and independently, and with
occupations, that an article, the production out any of them having been educated of which is the result of such a multitude of to this peculiar business, they cer manual operations, can be sold for a trifling tainly could not each of them have made
Economy of Machinery and Manufactwenty, perhaps not one pin in a day.” | tures, 3rd Edition, p. 201.
§ 5. The causes of the increased them, be supposed capable of acquirefficiency given to labour by the divi- ing.”* This skill is, naturally, atsion of employments are some of them tained after shorter practice, in proportoo familiar to require specification ; tion as the division of labour is more but it is worth while to attempt a com- minute; and will not be attained in plete enumeration of them. By Adam the same degree at all, if the workman Smith they are reduced to three. has a greater variety of operations to “ First, the increase of dexterity in execute than allows of a sufficiently every particular workman ; secondly, frequent repetition of each. The adthe saving of the time which is com vantage is not confined to the greater monly lost in passing from one species efficiency ultimately attained, but inof work to another; and lastly, the includes also the diminished loss of time, vention of a great number of machines and waste of material, in learning the which facilitate and abridge labour, art. “A certain quantity of material," and enable one man to do the work of says Mr. Babbage, t “will in all cases many."
be consumed unprofitably, or spoiled, of these, the increase of dexterity of by every person who learns an art; the individual workman is the most ob- and as he applies himself to each new vious and universal. It does not fol process, he will waste some of the raw low that because a thing has been done material, or of the partly manufactured oftener it will be done better. That commodity. But if each man commits depends on the intelligence of the this waste in acquiring successively workman, and on the degree in which every process, the quantity of waste his mind works along with his hands. | will be much greater than if each perBut it will be done more easily. The son confine his attention to one process." organs themselves acquire greater And in general each will be much power: the muscles employed grow sooner qualified to execute his one prostronger by frequent exercise, the cess, if he be not distracted while learnsinews more pliant, and the mental ing it, by the necessity of learning powers more efficient, and less sensible others. of fatigue. What can be done easily The second advantage enumerated has at least a better chance of being i by Adam Smith as arising from the done well, and is sure to be done more division of labour, is one on which I expeditiously. What was at first done cannot help thinking that more stress slowly comes to be done quickly ; what is laid by him and others than it was at first done slowly with accuracy deserves. To do full justice to is at last done quickly with equal ac- his opinion, I will quote his own curacy. This is as true of mental opera- exposition of it. " The advantage tions as of bodily. Even a child, after which is gained by saving the time much practice, sums up a column of #
* “ In astronomical observations, the figures with a rapidity which resembles
senses of the operator are rendered so acute
by habit, that he can estimate differences of language, of reading fluently, of play
time to the tenth of a second; and adjust his
measuring instrument to graduations of ing music at sight, are cases as remark
which five thousand occupy only an inch, able as they are familiar. Among
It is the same throughout the commonest bodily acts, dancing, gymnastic exer processes of manufacture. A child who
fastens on the heads of pins will repeat an cises, ease and brilliancy of execution
operation requiring several distinct motions on a musical instrument, are examples
of the muscles one hundred times a minute of the rapidity and facility acquired by for several successive hours. In a recent repetition. In simpler manual opera Manchester paper it was stated that a
peculiar sort of twist or .gimp,' which cost tions, the effect is of course still sooner
three shillings making when first introduced, produced. “The rapidity," Adam
was now manufactured for one penny; and Smith observes, “with which some of this not, as usually, by the invention of a the operations of certain manufactures
new machine, but solely through the in.
creased dexterity of the workman."-Edin. are performed, exceeds what the human
burgh Review for January 1819, p. 81. hand could, by those who have never seen
commonly lost in passing from one change its employment with full effect. sort of work to another, is much The muscles of the limbs employed greater than we should at first view be have acquired a flexibility during their apt to imagine it. It is impossible to exertion, and those not in action a pass very quickly from one kind of stiffness during rest, which renders work to another, that is carried on in every change slow and unequal in the a different place, and with quite differ- commencement. Long habit also prou ent tools. A country weaver, who duces in the muscles exercised a capacultivates a small farm, must lose a city for enduring fatigue to a much good deal of time in passing from his greater degree than they could support loom to the field, and from the field to under other circumstances. A similar his loom. When the two trades can result seems to take place in any change be carried on in the same workhouse, of mental exertion; the attention the loss of time is no doubt much less. bestowed on the new subject not being It is even in this case, however, very so perfect at first as it becomes after considerable. A man commonly saun some exercise. The employment of ters a little in turning his hand from different tools in the successive proone sort of employment to another. cesses, is another cause of the loss of When he first begins the new work, time in changing from one operation he is seldom very keen and hearty; to another. If these tools are simple, his mind, as they say, does not go to and the change is not frequent, the it, and for some time he rather trifles loss of time is not considerable ; but than applies to good purpose. The in many processes of the arts, the tools habit of sauntering and of indolent are of great delicacy, requiring accucareless application, which is naturally, rate adjustment every time they are or rather necessarily acquired by every used; and in many cases, the time country workman who is obliged to employed in adjusting bears a large change his work and his tools every | proportion to that employed in using half hour, and to apply his hand in | the tool. The sliding-rest, the divitwenty different ways almost every ding and the drilling engine are of this day of his life, renders him almost kind: and hence, in manufactories of always slothful and lazy, and incapable sufficient extent, it is found to be good of any vigorous application even on the economy to keep one machine conmost pressing occasions." This is stantly employed in one kind of work : surely a most exaggerated description one lathe, for example, having a screw of the inefficiency of country labour, motion to its sliding-rest along the where it has any adequate motive to whole length of its bed, is kept conexertion. Few workmen change their stantly making cylinders; another, work and their tools oftener than a having a motion for equalizing the gardener; is he usually incapable of velocity of the work at the point at vigorous application ? Many of the which it passes the tool, is kept for higher description of artisans have to facing surfaces; whilst a third is conperform a great multiplicity of opera stantly employed in cutting wheels.” tions with a variety of tools. They do 1 I am very far from implying that not execute each of these with the these different considerations are of no rapidity with which a factory work weight; but I think there are counterman performs his single operation; considerations which are overlooked. but they are, except in a merely | If one kind of muscular or mental lamanual sense, more skilful labourers, bour is different from another, for that and in all senses whatever more ener very reason it is to some extent a rest getic.
from that other; and if the greatest Mr. Babbage, following in the track vigour is not at once obtained in the of Adam Smith, says, “When the second occupation, neither could the human hand, or the human head, has first have been indefinitely prolonged been for some time occupied in any without some relaxation of energy. kind of work, it cannot instantly It is a matter of common experience that a change of occupation will often / are usually (at least in their present afford relief where complete repose social circumstances) of far greater would otherwise be necessary, and that versatility than men; and the present a person can work many more hours topic is an instance among multitudes, without fatigue at a succession of oc- | how little the ideas and experience of cupations, than if confined during the women have yet counted for, in formwhole time to one. Different occupa- | ing the opinions of mankind. There tions employ different muscles, or are few women who would not reject the different energies of the mind, some idea that work is made vigorous by being of which rest and are refreshed while protracted, and is inefficient for some others work. Bodily labour itself rests time after changing to a new thing. from mental, and conversely. The Even in this case, habit, I believe, variety itself has an invigorating much more than nature, is the cause effect on what, for want of a more phi- of the difference. The occupations of losophical appellation, we must term nine out of every ten men are special, the animal spirits ; so important to those of nine out of every ten women the efficiency of all work not mechani- general, embracing a multitude of cal, and not unimportant even to that. details, each of which requires very The comparative weight due to these little time. Women are in the conconsiderations is different with differ- stant practice of passing quickly from ent individuals; some are more fitted one manual, and still more from one than others for persistency in one mental operation to another, which occupation, and less fit for change; therefore rarely costs them either effort they require longer to get the steam or loss of time, while a man's occupation up (to use a metaphor now common); generally consists in working steadily the irksomeness of setting to work lasts for a long time at one thing, or one longer, and it requires more time to very limited class of things. But the bring their faculties into full play, and situations are sometimes reversed, and therefore when this is once done, they with them the characters. Women do not like to leave off, but go on long are not found less efficient than men without intermission, even to the in for the uniformity of factory work, or jury of their health. Temperament they would not so generally be emhas something to do with these differ-ployed for it; and a man who has ences. There are people whose facul- cultivated the habit of turning his ties seem by nature to come slowly hand to many things, far from being into action, and to accomplish little the slothful and lazy person described until they have been a long time by Adam Smith, is usually remarkably employed. Others, again, get into lively and active. It is true, however, action rapidly, but cannot, without that change of occupation may be too exhaustion, continue long. In this, frequent even for the most versatile. however, as in most other things, Incessant variety is even more fathough natural differences are some tiguing than perpetual sameness. thing, habit is much more. The habit The third advantage attributed by of passing rapidly from one occupation Adam Smith to the division of labour, to another may be acquired, like other is, to a certain extent, real. Invenhabits, by early cultivation; and when tions tending to save labour in a parit is acquired, there is none of the ticular operation, are more likely to sauntering which Adam Smith speaks occur to any one in proportion as his af, after each change; no want of thoughts are intensely directed to that energy and interest, but the workman occupation, and continually employed comes to each part of his occupation | upon it. A person is not so likely to with a freshness and a spirit which he make practical improvements in one does not retain if he persists in any department of things, whose attention one part (unless in case of unusual is very much diverted to others. But, excitement) beyond the length of time in this, much more depends on general to which he is accustomed. Women intelligence and habitual activity of mind, than on exclusiveness of occupa- | making, he adds, the difference would tion; and if that exclusiveness is be still greater, for in that, the scale carried to a degree unfavourable to the of remuneration for different parts of cultivation of intelligence, there will be the process varies from sixpence to more lost in this kind of advantage twenty shillings a day. than gained. We may add, that what. To the advantage which consists in ever may be the cause of making extracting the greatest possible amount inventions, when they are once made, of utility from skill, may be added the the increased efficiency of labour is analogous one, of extracting the utmost owing to the invention itself, and not possible utility from tools. “If any to the division of labour.
man," says an able writer, * "had all The greatest advantage (next to the the tools which many different occupadexterity of the workmen) derived from tions require, at least three-fourths of the minute division of labour which them would constantly be idle and takes place in modern manufacturing useless. It were clearly then better, industry, is one not mentioned by were any society to exist where each Adam Smith, but to which attention man had all these tools, and alternately has been drawn by Mr. Babbage; the carried on each of these occupations, more economical distribution of labour, that the members of it should, if by classing the work-people according possible, divide them amongst them, to their capacity. Different parts of each restricting himself to some parthe same series of operations require ticular employment. The advantages unequal degrees of skill and bodily of the change to the whole community, strength; and those who have skill and therefore to every individual in it, enough for the most difficult, or are great. In the first place, the vastrength enough for the hardest parts rious implements, being in constant of the labour, are made much more employment, yield a better return for useful by being employed solely in what has been laid out in procuring them; the operations which every- them. In consequence their owners body is capable of, being left to those can afford to have them of better who are fit for no others. Production quality and more complete construcis most efficient when the precise tion. The result of both events is, that quantity of skill and strength, which is a larger provision is made for the required for each part of the process, future wants of the whole society." is employed in it, and no more. The operation of pin-making requires, it $ 6. The division of labour, as all seems, in its different parts, such writers on the subject have remarked, different degrees of skill, that the wages is limited by the extent of the market. earned by the persons employed vary If, by the separation of pin-making from fourpence halfpenny a day to six into ten distinct employments, fortyshillings; and if the workman who is eight thousand pins can be made in a paid at that highest rate had to perform day, this separation will only be adthe whole process, he would be working visable if the number of accessible a part of his time with a waste per consumers is such as to require, every day equivalent to the difference be-day, something like forty-eight thoutween six shillings and fourpence half- sand pins. If there is only a demand penny. Without reference to the loss for twenty-four thousand, the division sustained in quantity of work done, and of labour can only be advantageously supposing even that he could make a carried to the extent which will every pound of pins in the same time in day produce that smaller number. which ten workmen combining their This, therefore, is a further mode in labour can make ten pounds, Mr. Bab- which an accession of demand for bage computes that they would cost, in a commodity tends to increase the making, three times and three-quarters
* Statement of some New Principles on the as much as they now do by means of bio
subject of Political Economy, by John Rae, the division of labour. In needle- (Boston, U.S.) p. 164.